by Elad Benari
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with his French and Spanish counterparts, Bernard Kouchner and Miguel Moratinos, in Jerusalem on Sunday. During the meeting, Lieberman told the two: “Before you teach us how to resolve conflicts here, I expect at the very least that you solve all the problems in Europe.”
Lieberman added that “In 1938 the European community decided to appease Hitler instead of supporting the loyal ally Czechoslovakia, and sacrificed it without gaining anything. We have no intention of becoming 2010’s Czechoslovakia and will insist on Israel’s vital interests.”
The Foreign Minister pointed out that the West has failed in resolving conflicts, and added that he does not understand why Israel was being singled out. “It seems as though the international community is trying to compensate for its failures to solve world conflicts by attempting to reach an agreement between Israel and the PA within a year. Instead of speaking now with the Arab League about what will happen after the referendum in Sudan or discussing the volatile situation which is expected in Iraq after 2012, pressure is being placed on Israel. Instead of achieving peace, this pressure could result in the opposite and lead to the collapse of the negotiations, as it did in 2000 after Camp David.
“I do not expect you to solve all the problems in the world, but you should at least solve all the problems on European territory before you come and teach us how to solve our conflicts,” Lieberman told Koucher and Moratinos. “After you solve the problems in the Caucasus region, in Cyprus, or the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, come here and I’ll accept your advice.”
Lieberman, who is known for being skeptic regarding the Arabs’ intents on a true peace agreement with Israel, told the UN General Assembly several weeks ago that peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would not be achieved anytime soon, and that an agreement to a two-state solution would not be signed in the next few decades.
Prior to their meeting with Lieberman, Kouchner and Moratinos met earlier on Sunday with President Shimon Peres and told him that their countries want to help progress the peace process.